New Delhi :Inaugurating the 49th Foundation Day of Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, the Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley said that it was time for healthcare in the country to enter the next stage. He made it clear that money that had not been put to use by the states abnd centre over the years would now find utilization in the providing healthcare to senior citizens below poverty line and dialysis treatment across the “geographical length and breadth of the country”.
According to the Tribune, the Finance Minister in his innaugural address said, the pace of healthcare was fine in the urban centres, however, it was the rural areas that were weak in terms of availability of healthcare services.“Last weekend, I was in Vrindavan, I had gone for a political convention. One of the orthopaedic surgeons spoke to me of the inadequacies in public and private healthcare. It is our responsibility to make sure that the geographical spread improves.”He said two initiatives regarding healthcare were taken this year. “We will plan a health scheme in which insurance cover for a family will be upto Rs 1 lakh per hospital treatment. This applies to 1/3rd of the bottom layer of Indian society. So all people below the poverty line category and some above it will be covered in the scheme,” he further elaborated.
The minister revealed that he had come across various government schemes in which people contribute money and for almost the past decade had not claimed it. “I have passed an act of Parliament that this money will now be acquired by the government and used for health care of senior citizens of the BPL category,” According to him senior citizens of the “bottom rung of 1/3rd of the Indian society” were to receive an additional cover of Rs. 40,000 a year., so the goverment would in this case not be spending from their own pocket